Senate confirms FCC chair to another term

Senate confirms FCC chair to another term
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The Senate on Monday voted 52-41 to confirm Ajit Pai to another term as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

“I am deeply grateful to the U.S. Senate for confirming my nomination to serve a second term at the FCC and to President Trump for submitting that nomination to the Senate," Pai said in a statement.
 
"Since January, the Commission has focused on bridging the digital divide, promoting innovation, protecting consumers and public safety, and making the FCC more open and transparent."
 
Pai was approved with support from 48 Republicans and four Democrats: Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinMcConnell to Dems: Don't hold government 'hostage' over DACA Lawmakers see shutdown’s odds rising Senate campaign fundraising reports roll in MORE (W.Va.), Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillNSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Senate campaign fundraising reports roll in Dems search for winning playbook MORE (Mo.), Gary PetersGary Charles PetersPeters passes on run for Michigan governor Trump’s infrastructure plan may slip to next month GOP chairman warns of ISIS's ‘cyber caliphate’ MORE (Mich.) and Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterEMILY’s List president: Franken did 'right thing for Minnesota' Reforming veterans health care for all generations of veterans Trump and Republicans deliver gift that keeps on giving for Americans MORE (Mont.).
 
"Ajit and I have been working together on a number of ways to bridge the digital divide in our country, especially in West Virginia, including adopting the Mobility Fund II, improving the accuracy of broadband coverage maps, and tailoring the Remote Areas Fund to reach the places that need it most," Manchin said in a statement. "I look forward to working with Ajit and the Commission to make sure that all Americans and West Virginians have access to broadband.”
 
But other Democrats vocally opposed his confirmation, hammering him in a series of floor speeches over his efforts to roll back Obama-era regulations, in particular the net neutrality rules.
 
“The FCC is tasked with the critical role of protecting consumers and promoting innovation in the telecommunications and technological fields that are becoming more and more integral to our day to day lives,” Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats will need to explain if they shut government down over illegal immigration White House: Trump remarks didn't derail shutdown talks Schumer defends Durbin after GOP senator questions account of Trump meeting MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a statement ahead of the vote.

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“However, over his time at the FCC and particularly in his tenure as Chairman so far, Mr. Pai has established a clear record of favoring big corporations at the expense of consumers, innovators, and small businesses,” he said.

Pai is repealing the Obama-era net neutrality rules, which require internet service providers to treat all web traffic equally.

Democrats also blasted Pai for clearing the way for Sinclair’s acquisition of Tribune and limiting the number of companies participating in an internet access subsidy program.

But Republicans who control the chamber were behind Pai, who was in no danger, needing only a simple majority for confirmation.